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Food Prep & Nutrition

We ensure that the Food curriculum is intellectually and creatively challenging and relevant to Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School students. We create a stimulating learning environment, which inspires students to develop their knowledge of food and nutrition and to develop high level, technical food preparation skills.

As part of our Catholic Ethos, students of all abilities are encouraged to realise their full potential by developing an understanding of the nutritional value of food, the functional and chemical properties of food and food as an ingredient with which to prepare a wide range of dishes.

We encourage students to work creatively to develop their food preparation skills, to use their reasoning to experiment with ingredients to answer a hypothesis.  Students apply their understanding of nutrition, health, food science and factors affecting food choice to different situations in their own lives now and in the future.  They recognise how food impacts the environment and realise that food is a gift from God and valued as part of food security.

The Food curriculum encourages students to be creative, independent and confident learners who are resilient and able to adapt to changing circumstances.

Curriculum Summary

Key Stage 3

Food Technology meets the requirements of the KS3 National Curriculum Design and Technology (Cooking and Nutrition) and is underpinned by the following:

  • How to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating.
  • A love of cooking as an expression of creativity.
  • Learning skills to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

In Key Stage 3 Food Technology students are taught to:

  • Understand and apply the principles of nutrition and health
  • Cook a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes so that they are able to feed themselves and others a healthy and varied diet.
  • Become competent in a range of cooking techniques. For example, selecting and preparing ingredients, using utensils and electrical equipment, applying heat in different ways, using awareness of taste, texture and smell to decide how to season dishes and combine ingredients, adapting and using their own recipes.
  • Understand the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients.

Students will have one term of Food Technology lessons in Year 7 and in Year 8.

Programme of study

Year 7

Students will be taught food preparation skills so that they can work independently and safely to make healthy meals and snacks.  The focus is on practical skills which are underpinned by knowledge about healthy eating, nutrition and food provenance.  Students also learn about the government’s current dietary advice and how to choose a healthy diet. 

Students follow the programme below, however, lessons may change to meet the needs of students.  All recipes can be adapted to meet different preferences.

Lesson and Topic


Scrambled egg on toast

Health and safety

  • Potential hazards in the Food room
  • How to work safely
  • Awareness of personal safety and the safety of others.
  • Personal hygiene
  • Keeping equipment and Food area clean.

Pizza toast

Introduction to the  Eatwell Guide

  • Revision of using the grill safely.
  • Introduction to the Eatwell Guide and current dietary guidelines.

Pasta salad (assessment)

Dietary guideline – Base your meals on starchy foods

  • Benefits of basing meals on starchy foods: energy requirements, choosing wholemeal versions.
  • Reference to the benefits of fibre.

Vegetable soup

Food provenance (potatoes)

  • Nutritional benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables: vitamins A and C, minerals, fibre content, low fat.
  • Provenance of potatoes.

Chicken goujons and wedges/spicy bean burgers

Dietary guideline – cut down on saturated fat, safe handling and cooking of chicken

  • The difference between saturated and unsaturated fat.  The place of fat in the Eatwell Guide.

Scone based pizza (assessment)

Adapting recipes to meet the dietary guidelines

  • Demonstration of food practical skills.
  • Putting dietary guidelines into practice and using the Eatwell Guide to adapt a recipe.
  • Collecting and using feedback to make suggested improvements.

Dietary guideline – Don’t skip breakfast

  • The benefits of eating breakfast every day.
  • How to plan a nutritious breakfast that meets the dietary guidelines.

Year 8

Students are taught more complex practical skills and learn more about nutrients and their function in the diet.  In addition, they will be introduced to the concept of food provenance.  Skills and knowledge form a foundation for the students wishing to progress to GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition.

Savoury rice

Revision (introduction) to health and safety rule

  • Revision of health and safety rules for working in the Food room.
  • Revision of personal and general hygiene for working with food.





Introduction to nutrition – protein

  • Introduction to the main five nutrients linked to the Eatwell Guide.
  • The functions and sources of protein as a nutrient with reference to the protein content of burgers.

Pasta bake (assessment)

Adapting a recipe to meet carbohydrate requirements

  • Demonstration of food practical skills.
  • Demonstrate understanding of carbohydrate sources.
  • Demonstrating knowledge of nutrition
  • Know that wholemeal versions of starchy foods provide fibre.

Mini carrot cakes

Including fibre in the diet

  • The importance and function of fibre in the diet.
  • Sources of fibre.

Chicken/vegetable fajitas

Vitamins and minerals

  • The role of vitamins and minerals in the diet.
  • Identification of water-soluble vitamins and their function.

Mini roast dinner (assessment)

Making a nutritious family meal, consolidation of practical skills.

  • Demonstrating practical skills in the preparation, serving and cooking of a nutritious meal suitable for the family
  • Researching the provenance of their ingredients.
  • Collecting and using feedback to make suggested improvements.


Unique biscuit

  • How to adapt a basic recipe to create a unique product.

Teaching and learning approaches

Students learn through making, and are encouraged to use their creativity and practical skills to make food for themselves and their family.  All recipes are demonstrated so that students learn how to use and manipulate equipment accurately and safely and how to cook and present food to make it appealing. 

Students are taught how to adapt recipes and cooking methods to meet different needs.  In addition, students will learn about healthy eating and nutrition through discussion, writing tasks, question and answer, research, planning, evaluating and practical work.  Students are encouraged to ask questions to develop their understanding. 


Students will be assessed on their ability to adapt a recipe, research, plan, carry out practicals and evaluate in response to a teacher set task.  Students will need to carry out some research to help them justify their choices. Their planned dish will be made in their Food lessons and the ability to select and use equipment safely, work independently, demonstrate accurate food preparation skills and present food attractively and creatively will be assessed.  Students will collect and use feedback to help them evaluate their food products.  All assessments prepare them for progression to GCSE.


Key Stage 4

Qualification:  GCSE

Awarding Body and Paper: AQA 8585

Programme of Study

Food Preparation and Nutrition is a practical subject area which requires the application of knowledge and understanding when planning, preparing, making and evaluating products.

Learning/Teaching Approach

The aim of the course is to enable students to work with a wide variety of foods and cooking methods.


  • Theoretical knowledge leading to a 1 hour 45 minutes written exam based on 5 topics:
    1. Food, nutrition and health
    2. Food science
    3. Food safety
    4. Food choice
    5. Food provenance.

    This will account for 50% of the GCSE

  • There will also be two practical assessments during Year 11. 
    1. Food investigation
      Students will be assessed on their understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.
    2. Food preparation assessment
      Students will be assessed on their knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking and presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task.  Students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes.
  • These two practical assessments account for 50% of the GCSE.

What it can lead to

Bsc (Hons) Food & Nutrition
Bsc(Hons) Baking Technology
Bsc (Hons) Food Science
Baking Technology Management
Food & professional cookery
Food Science and Technology

Additional Points

Food Preparation and Nutrition is a very exciting, creative and interesting subject to study. You will learn a tremendous amount through activities which will involve working with food, ingredients and products. Food Preparation and Nutrition includes:

  • Preparation and storage of ingredients
  • Knife skills
  • Use of equipment
  • Cooking methods
  • Sauce making
  • Marinades and tenderising
  • Preparation and storage of ingredients
  • Knife skills
  • Use of equipment
  • Cooking methods
  • Yeast doughs
  • Raising agents
  • Setting mixtures

Tier of Entry

Single Tier.